Friday, September 21, 2007

Yes, I carry a purse ...

I have carried a 'man bag' for several years now. The idea was to get my wallet out of my back pocket, where it was causing me pain related to the amount of time I spend driving - therefore, sitting on it. The alternative was to load up my other back pocket with an equally bulky mass to offset the lump I was sitting on with my left butt cheek. Since I viewed the idea of stuffing my back pocket with kleenex with the same disdain as I held for those unfortunate young women who seem to think it's necessary to stuff that crap in their all too small bras, the alternative was the 'man bag'. And it's worked out quite well, thank you. Till now. The bag I've carried is a little larger, in height and width, than a good sized paperback, and about 3x deeper. Fine for what I've carried in the past (although it's amazing what accumulates in a bag, over time, and how heavy they can get) but now I need to carry a 'sketch journal' with me and some pencils of varying degrees of hardness and my man bag is too small. Oh, I COULD carry some little dinky sketch book, but that is not and never has been, me. MY book is 10x8, spiral bound with an elastic closure. 50 pages of 75#, acid free paper with TOOTH. Now THAT's a sketch book. Anyway, last night on my way home from work I passed a garage sale near the house so I did a U'y and pulled over, took a look and there, on the table, was a perfectly sized, black leather bag with straps that just said "Buy me for this two bucks, big boy." So, I did. Now I can carry my sketch book with me wherever I go. All I need do, now, is find something to draw - every day. One thing. Minimum. Maybe I should draw my Man Bag. For posterity. Or posterior-ty. ;>)

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Class was great, again ....

Last night's class was better populated than the first one was. I think that everyone who was signed up for the class was actually there.

I brought my tabletop easel to class, so I could work upright. It helped me work better, I think, but it seemed to isolate me from the rest of the class. When you're working 'flat' you can look up and see what other people in the class are doing and you can interact to a greater degree with the other people in class. When the work is upright, you kind of hide behind the paper and there is less ability to see and relate to the people around you. Which, I suppose, is a good thing as far as it goes - I mean you're able to concentrate on what you're doing and there are fewer distractions (and I've already discussed distractions). Part of me wants to worry about what my classmates think about hiding behind the paper ( on the other hand, does it make any difference to them? ) and the other part of me says to forget about it and focus on learning, which is what I'm there for.

The class was unexpectedly grueling. All we did was, in the process of learning how to MEASURE, draw a stack of boxes. First. Then we drew a second set of boxes which weren't so cleanly stacked - a jumble, if you will. Maintaining the concentration necessary to complete the work was exhausting. Of course, it could have had something to do with the fact that I worked all day, but last week's class wasn't anywhere near as draining as this one was. But it felt GOOD. And I think I learned a lot. Which is what I'm after, after all. Isn't it?

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Second Class tonight

Tonight will be the second class with Marilyn Dale. I feel somewhat disappointed in myself that I haven't done more work on my own and independently. Last night, however, I did do a little work on the 'Two Fat Ladies' in my sketch journal. I did the head of one of the women, upside down, to see how it might differ from what I did in class last week. I find I still have this weakness in placing things (lines) relative to other lines in a drawing. Also there seems to be a comfort thing I have to learn to deal with - I don't like to shift around and change positions once I start working on something, but if I can't see my source material clearly I have to put down whatever I'm drawing with and pickup the book (in this case) and then go back to drawing. But it's like I've lost my place; I have to figure out where I was and get back there and it would be so much simpler if I could just glance over at whatever my source is, see what I need to see and continue in the work.

Actually, it's kind of like when I write a program for the computer. There's this focus one develops as one is in the work - you begin to see the whole in your mind as you work on the individual pieces or elements of the program and it is (for me, anyway) very difficult to reconstruct that focus if there is an interruption in the process. You get called into a meeting or some other distraction gets in the way and it's just GONE. Getting it back is possible, but tough. I find the same thing happens when I draw. I have always held that a good programmer is an artist; for writing software requires an understanding of how others are going to see and react to what is being written - the better the understanding, and the more developed the programming skillset, the more 'artful' and usable the end result. Apparently, the same is true of Art.

As before, I am looking forward to tonight's class. Marilyn is great - she communicates so clearly. I think I'm beginning to understand her part in this - she is a guide, she is there to help me explore what I already have and to show me how to develop and flex my artistic 'muscle'. She can't 'give' me anything I don't already have - but she can 'show' me how to use it.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Lazy, lazy, lazy ....

Okay, so I took the weekend off. It's easy to make excuses, but it really was a very busy weekend. Yesterday, my three sons and I played golf together for the first time. Saturday was Parent's Day at IMSA (Illinois Math and Science Academy) and that took all day and when we finally did get home, I was TIRED. So, I didn't do anything to further the process of learning about Drawing and Sketching. And now, of course, I feel guilty.

Mea Culpa.